Arlington, VA—Today, in a landmark legislative victory, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate package of S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. The bill will be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.
Shared Hope International has actively supported the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act since initially introduced in 2013. The JVTA is a comprehensive piece of legislation that will provide much needed funding for law enforcement and survivors, increase accountability for buyers by clarifying trafficking offenses to include their conduct and heighten penalties, and expand law enforcement investigation tools.
Shared Hope International applauds Senate leadership, particularly Senators John Cornyn, Patty Murray and Harry Reid, for reaching a bi-partisan deal last month after the bill threatened to stall and the original bill sponsors, Representatives Ted Poe and Carolyn Maloney.
“This long-awaited bill promises to revolutionize America’s response to trafficking. It set a national precedent by establishing a standard of justice that clearly addresses the sophistication of the crime and sets forth provisions victims need and deserve. I commend Congress on their unwavering commitment to bring justice to victims of trafficking,” Said Congresswoman Linda Smith, President and Founder Shared Hope International (U.S. Congress 1995-99).
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SHARED HOPE POLICY INITIATIVES
The Protected Innocence Challenge is a comprehensive study of state laws. Under the Challenge, every state receives a Report Card that grades the state on 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in a state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking. In addition, each state receives a complete analysis of this 41-component review and practical recommendations for improvement.
ABOUT SHARED HOPE INTERNATIONAL: Shared Hope International exists to prevent, restore, and bring justice women and children in crisis. Founded in 1998, by former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith, we are leaders in a worldwide effort to eradicate sex trafficking and slavery. www.sharedhope.org.